25 Days of “Staying Home”

Today is the 5th of April 2020, I’m writing this post on a Sunny Sunday afternoon. It has been a few months now that our world is busy fighting an unwelcome guest, Coronavirus they call it. It also marks the 25th day that I’ve not left my flat, at least not for long.

I remember when I was reading about it on my local news months ago, when it was only in China, many of those around me used to say “it’s just flu” or making jokes about not going to “a Chinese restaurant”. But it did not take so long for the Coronavirus to shake our lives in other parts of the world too.
It first hit me when my parents’ flight was canceled and they couldn’t make their long-planned trip to Germany to visit me. We’ve used to meet at the same time of year for the past 10 years since I was abroad, to celebrate our new year together.

Soon things got more serious, countries started to close their borders from outside, governments started to ask people to stay home, businesses other than health and food-related were asked to stay close until things get better.
Today, in many countries people are sitting at home, starring at their televisions, thinking about when they can get back to work. Some of them began to worry about how to make enough for their next rent, food, etc. Thinking about those families saddens me, but yet there is nothing we can do other than hoping that this crisis will be over soon.

For a bunch of us, it was an advantage to work in fields that could allow you to continue working from home, home office they call it. I remember weeks ago how the number of articles on websites about “how to efficiently work from home” was increasing. I was seeing a couple of them every day in my different social & news feeds. It was even turned into a kind of benefit, that companies on Linkedin were bragging on how conveniently you could work at home if you were working for them. But it even hit some of those companies too, I’ve heard from a bunch of friends how their company has reduced their working hours.

When I first started to work from home, I thought it would be easy for me, I was used to working on my projects and private clients at home, so I’d always have a corner of my place to be my working area. Other than that I love being home, treating myself home-cooked food, watching series, listening to my music out loud.

It took one and a half weeks to feel the frustration that my friends were experiencing. I’m not an outgoing person, but this feeling of isolation especially for those who are living alone was prefect to dig a hole of negativity and drown you in it. It’s just not one of those times where you can focus on learning a new language or being creative, its just dead moments.

As days are passing and the situation is not getting any better, I find more of my plans for 2020 getting canceled. My girlfriend was supposed to give me a visit at the end of April, she was told by the airline that the flight is over.
Dunkfest!, the post-rock festival in Belgium which I was long anticipating is not going to happen too, that would be the second half of May.

But these changes do not seem to be shocking anymore as if I am getting used to this situation, even those friends of mine who were very frustrated at the beginning seem to complain less. Looks like this is becoming the new normal for us. To order our groceries online, be at our computers most of the day, and live in our tiny caves. I’ll probably give it another try to practice some German, but I’m not sure if I will be able to.

Oh, by the way, I’ve just got myself an electric guitar, back in Malaysia when I was selling my Piano, I promised that I would buy one when I’m settled in Germany, but I guess it could be a bit complicated to get it delivered and set up alone, so I thought maybe I can pick up some guitar skills. I always wished to make my own Postrock/Ambient music.
That is it for now, I’ll probably write again on how things are happening.
Good luck to you all, stay safe.

Block ads on Samsung Smart TV

So I pulled the trigger and ordered a Samsung SmartTV last month. within the first 24 hours I regretted that I believed TizenOS is better than Android. Apparently TizenOS is not much faster than Android and I had wrong expectations. 

Anyway what made it worse was to find out Samsung places ads in their SmartTV home screens! This really pissed me off and was unacceptable. I didn’t want to return the TV cause it would be troublesome to bring it to an Amazon Return Station. So I decided to give it a try to block the ads.

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docker-machine for better Docker on OSX

faster docker on macA while ago I published a blog post about Dockerizing my php development environment, soon after that I learned about the poor i/o performance of docker-containers on MacOSX. 

While that is manageable for small projects where there are not much I/O happening between multiple containers, I was stunned by how bad it could get after starting to work with my new company.

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Fix: Adaway no free space problem on miui/xiaomi.eu roms

If there is one reason for me to root my devices that would be system wide AdBlocking without compromising battery and performance.

That being said Adaway has been my best friend for the past 5-6 years and I’ve had it on every single Android based devices of mine.

a while ago I picked up an Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 for multimedia purposes which immediately after receiving it I attempt to unlock. The process took a good 7 days of my time (thanks to xiaomi). Anyway I flashed xiaomi.eu and magisk afterwards.

When I tried to apply Adblocking on Adaway I got this message that there is not enough disk space left on some system partition, and Adaway was suggesting me to change the target hosts file location to /data/data/hosts and creating a symbolic link. Doing some researches I was not able to find a clean solution (other than creating a symbolic link manually in recovery mode).

So I found that this can be resolved by using systemless hosts feature in magisk.

  • Point back the target hosts file to /etc/hosts
  • Open Magisk manager
  • Click on “Systemless Hosts” in Magisk’s settings
  • Reboot your device
  • Launch Adaway and re-apply Adblocking! 

Thats all, that should do it, I hope it helps some of you folks out there.

a week with Macbook Pro 2019


The 13 inch Macbook Pro 2016 was the first of them with the new design & chassis that I owned. Back then when it was still new most of the reviews were around how replacing all those I/O ports with USB-C a headache for the users.

as I remember, I couldn’t care less about any of those issues. All I wanted was to replace a 17 inch brick pro from 2011 with something lighter with a greater battery life, so I pretty much settled on the idea of dongles before even receiving my device.

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